The summer solstice has passed, the days are getting shorter and soon the fading sunlight will serve as a signal for the leaves to start turning color and fall from the trees. But just because Mother Nature is preparing for her winter slumber doesn’t mean you have to do the same. Here's how to prolong your enjoyment of the great outdoors.

Don’t spring gardens look great? Full, lush blooms of bright color make your landscaping pop and sparkle with spring’s bounty. Wouldn’t you love stretching that showy display throughout the summer season?

The realities of modern life are fast pushing gardening out of reach of many Americans - from apartment dwellers and senior citizens experiencing reduced mobility, to folks who simply don’t have the time or space to devote to a full-size garden. Ironically, even as our ability to garden shrinks, news of gardening’s health and spiritual benefits continues to grow.

Leading home improvement experts predict one of this year’s hottest trends will involve the great outdoors. Patios and decks, outdoor kitchens or living rooms, swimming pools, water features, pavers and walkways will be among the most important home additions for 2006.

For many outdoor wildlife lovers it seems nearly impossible to keep squirrels from raiding their bird feeders. Although victory over the squirrels may appear impossible, there is a way to feed your beloved birds without the disturbance caused by these crafty creatures.

According to the American Association of Obesity, today's youth are considered the most inactive generation in history. So what can you do to turn things around for your child? A good place to start is by showing your son or daughter that you’re serious about improving the situation.

For many long, cold months, the avid gardener sits inside the house, eagerly thumbing through seed, plant and gardening catalogs. At last, spring is in sight. But before turning the first spade-full of dirt, it’s time to gather your gardening friends: those tools that save you time, defend your garden from pests and generally make your hobby a delight.